SOME FAMOUS GAMBLES
- The very first winner Lottery (1839) was made 5/1 favourite following his earlier success in the Cheltenham Steeplechase.
- Another successful 19th century punt came in 1866 when owner/ trainer Edward Studd had £1,000 at 40/1 about Salamander. His £40,000 winnings would equate to nearly £3 million at today’s values.
- Manifesto hit the bookies hard on both occasions he won the Grand National, in 1897 and 1899. He was sent off 6/1 favourite for his first win when owned by heavy-gambling Irish solicitor Harry Dyas. He was 5/1 second favourite two years later when scoring for new owner John Bulteel. The 4/1 favourite was his half-sister Gentle Ida, who fell.
- A confident Vincent O’Brien told owner Joe ‘Mincemeat’ Griffin to have a good bet on Early Mist in the 1953 race. Griffin won £100,000 when his horse came in and he also owned the 1954 winner Royal Tan, trained by O’Brien too.
- Prolific gambler Terry Ramsden bet £50,000 eachway at 8/1 about Mr Snugfit in the 1986. The horse, who was also combined in doubles and trebles, returned a profit when coming fourth.
- Papillon’s success in 2000 for trainer Ted Walsh and his jockey son Ruby was a popular victory. Tipped by the Racing Post’s Pricewise column at 33/1 on the morning of the race, he was sent off at 10/1 by race time.
- Part-owner Mike Futter estimated his total winnings were £800,000 when Monty’s Pass scored in 2003. The five-person Dee Racing syndicate netted over £1 million on the winner, who started at 16/1 but had been backed down from 66/1 by his owners.
100/1 Mon Mome (2009), Foinavon (1967), Caughoo (1947), Gregalach (1929) and Tipperary Tim (1928).
66/1 Auroras Encore (2013), Ayala (1963), Russian Hero (1949), and Rubio (1908).
50/1 Last Suspect (1985), Anglo (1966), Sheila’s Cottage (1948) and Forbra (1932).
- Poethlyn (1919) at 11/4
- Huntsman (1862) at 3/1
- Roquefort (1885) at 100/30
Grand National Weights
HIGHEST WINNING WEIGHT
12st 7lb carried by four winners to victory in the Grand National: Poethlyn (1919), Jerry M (1912), Manifesto (1899) and Cloister (1893).
This is a record that will not be broken as the top-weight was lowered to 12st in 1956, then went down to 11st 12lb in 2002 and to 11st 10lb in 2009.
Since Poethlyn, only four horses have triumphed with 12st or more – Red Rum (12st in 1974), Reynoldstown (12st 2lb in 1936), Golden Miller (12st 2lb in 1934) and Sprig (12st 4lb in 1927).
LOWEST WINNING WEIGHT
9st 6lb by Freetrader in 1856.
The minimum weight now is 10st, regardless whether a horse’s rating merits less (termed “racing from out of the handicap”).
The race’s popularity in recent years has seen few entries from out of the handicap make the final field.
The Randox Health Grand National is the only race where the official handicapper specially frames the weights, often taking into account past Aintree form.
The weights are announced at a launch in February and do not change afterwards as there are no penalties for success after that time. British Horseracing Authority Head of Handicapping Phil Smith has framed the weights since 1999. Smith has encouraged the best horses to take part by compressing the weights at the top of the handicap since 2001 – giving them a more lenient mark than their official rating, mainly because of the race’s long distance.
He was rewarded with the closest finish in Grand National history in 2012 when Neptune Collonges defied 11st 6lb to beat Sunyhillboy by a nose, while Many Clouds, the 2015 Grand National winner, carried 11st 9lb, the highest victorious weight since Red Rum’s 12st in 1974.
WEIGHTS CARRIED BY LAST 20 WINNERS
11ST 9LB Many Clouds (2015)
11ST 6LB Neptune Collonges (2012)
11ST 5LB Don’t Push It (2010)
11ST 1LB Hedgehunter (2005)
11ST 0LB Mon Mome (2009), Ballabriggs (2011)
10ST 12LB Papillon (2000)
10ST 11LB Red Marauder (2001)
10ST 10LB Amberleigh House (2004)
10ST 9LB Comply Or Die (2008)
10ST 8LB Numbersixvalverde (2006), Monty’s Pass (2003)
10ST 7LB Rule The World (2016)
10ST 6LB Silver Birch (2007), Pineau De Re (2014)
10ST 5LB Earth Summit (1998)
10ST 4LB Bindaree (2002)
10ST 3LB Auroras Encore (2013)
10ST 0LB Lord Gyllene (1997), Bobbyjo (1999)
SMALLEST NUMBER OF FINISHERS
Two, in 1928 when 42 started, with Tipperary Tim beating the remounted Billy Barton by a distance. Three finished in both 1913 and 1951. The remounting of horses was banned in all races by the British Horseracing Authority in November, 2009.
23 in 1984, from 40 starters. There were 22 finishers in 1963, 1987 and 1992.
66 in 1929, while 57 lined up in 1947. The maximum field size is now 40.
10 in 1883
Grand National Greys
Three different grey horses have won the Grand National four times:
- The Lamb (1868 and 1871),
- Nicolaus Silver (1961)
- Neptune Collonges (2012).
Greys that PLACED RECENTLY
- 1997 Suny Bay (2nd)
- 1998 Suny Bay (2nd)
- 2002 What’s Up Boys (2nd)
- 2002 Kingsmark (4th)
- 2008 King Johns Castle (2nd)
Charity (1841), Miss Mowbray (1852), Anatis (1860), Jealousy (1861), Emblem (1863), Emblematic (1864), Casse Tete (1872), Empress (1880), Zoedone (1883), Frigate (1889), Shannon Lass (1902), Sheila’s Cottage (1948) and Nickel Coin (1951).
PLACED SINCE 1951
Gentle Moya (2nd 1956), Tiberetta (3rd 1957, 2nd 1958 & 4th 1959), Miss Hunter (3rd 1970), Eyecatcher (3rd 1976 and 1977), Auntie Dot (3rd 1991), Ebony Jane (4th 1994) and Dubacilla (4th 1995).
Grand National Lengths
The Grand National race is 4 miles, 2 ½ furlongs.
SHORTEST WINNING DISTANCE
Neptune Collonges by a nose from Sunnyhillboy in 2012.
FURTHEST WINNING DISTANCE
A distance – Cloister (1893), Covertcoat (1913), Shaun Splash (1921), Tipperary Tim (1928), Mr What (1958) and Red Marauder (2001).
Grand National Running Times
FASTEST Grand National Time
Mr Frisk (1990) 8m 47.8s.
SLOWEST Grand National Time
Lottery (1839) 14m 53s.
MOST COMMON WINNING AGE
Nine-year-olds have won 45 of the 169 runnings of the Grand National where the winner’s age was recorded. The best recent record is by 11-year-olds, accounting for three of the last five winners – Neptune Collonges (2012), Auroras Encore (2013) and Pineau De Re (2014).
Peter Simple (1853), aged 15.
Alcibiade (1865), Regal (1876), Austerlitz (1877), Empress (1880) and Lutteur III (1909) were all aged five. Since 2012, only seven-yearolds and upwards can take part.
WINNING AGES IN THE LAST 30 RUNNINGS
- 8-Y-O (3 winners) Party Politics (1992), Bindaree (2002) and Many Clouds (2015).
- 9-Y-O (9 winners) West Tip (1986), Rhyme ‘N’ Reason (1988), Lord Gyllene (1997), Bobbyjo (1999), Papillon (2000), Hedgehunter (2005), Comply Or Die (2008), Mon Mome (2009) and Rule The World (2016).
- 10-Y-O (7 winners) Rough Quest (1996), Earth Summit (1998), Monty’s Pass (2003), Numbersixvalverde (2006), Silver Birch (2007), Don’t Push It (2010) and Ballabriggs (2011).
- 11-Y-O (8 winners) Maori Venture (1987), Mr Frisk (1990), Seagram (1991), Miinnehoma (1994), Red Marauder (2001), Neptune Collonges (2012), Auroras Encore (2013) and Pineau De Re (2014).
- 12-Y-O (3 winners) Little Polveir (1989), Royal Athlete (1995) and Amberleigh House (2004).